10 in 20 Minutes with The Honorable Paul Kagame.

10 in 20 Minutes with The Honorable Paul Kagame.


I was thinking of a song from
The 1970s، I think it is “What have you done for us lately” 8% growth for better than a decade long You’ve got a referendum or a
mandate to continue Institution building and premier people We’re talking about
political landscape going forward With this much in terms of political headwinds
But more importantly economic headwinds That are taking place in the world today Are you confident you can sustain growth
In this window 7 to 8% going forward؟ That’s kind of the expectation
That the benchmarks set for Rwanda – Thank you. I think we can continue
To sustain a growth in Rwanda Because mainly this growth
Comes from within rather than from outside Even though the outside investments
Were welcome and welcome and needed We start from inside and then
Leverage what we have domestically In terms of security، stability، The rule of law and the energy
and resilience of Rwandans To then attract outside investments
And move from there into the future world – Middle income status by 2020
Let’s define it what it means By per capita income in US dollars
If you can But what needs to happen between 2016 to 2020
For you to get there would you say – Well we want to be at 1،240 US dollars
GDP per capita by 2020 We are now close to 800
So what remains of 400 plus or 500 We think we can meet that target by 2020
Given the path at which we’ve been moving Growth rates of 8% for the last
13، 14 years or so every year We think we can still meet the target – Okay، what’s the driver here؟
What’s the key driver؟ I know you have an investment package to give more Independence to the
Rwandan investment board if you will And you have a legislation pending in
the mining sector – Yes
– I know you’re emphasizing to farming or agriculture sector because it reaches
So many different people in the country These are kind of pillars if you will
Of good governance But what needs to happen in 2016؟
Some of those laws have been passed And I know there are some that are
Pending as well – The laws that we need to have in place
Have been passed But this is building on what we’ve done
Since the، say 2000 We’ve seen a lot of progress in building
Institutions، strengthening them Serious delivery has been very significant Involving Rwandan people in all different
Productive sectors So 2016 is really focusing on
Building on what we have already done In terms of the stability we have created
In the macroeconomic stability That we have achieved and making sure that
Our culture، something we continue to develop And make commercial to benefit the man
Rwandans would depend on it Manufacturing، services، these
areas we are targeting But Rwandan development board Which has been some kind of interface
Between government and private investments Coming from within or from outside The laws are now in place
To make it fully operational In this kind of area that is going to be
Very significant for us to achieve I was looking and we had the chance to
discuss this behind the scenes before Fitch radian’s report that has your B+
With a stable outlook So just in there your growth
Can still be maintained Budget deficit under control
About 4.5% But these are all numbers What people are looking for today
Is how do you replace the donor support Because you’re almost the
darling of East Africa People are willing to give you
that transitional donor suppoort But it’s going to be chipped away
And coming down to 20% of GDP As opposed to 38 to 40% today Are you prepared to that transition where the
Donor support is going to be reduced in the next
2 years in particular؟ Donor support wasn t something we
really wanted To rely on forever Donor support was there to help us
Build our foundations The institutions، the
different fundamentals To be in a place so that we
can sustain our economy Based on what we can do ourselves
But also within the region For example region integration، Seeing
more trade within the East African community And between East African community
And other regions And then these continued investments
Flowing in for the country It’s something that is gradually head up And it
will feed the gap left by donor support overtime This is our commitment
That is what we want to achieve Our vision is to make sure that we are able
To stand on our own feet And develop a country
And attract investments، do business And this is going to be more sustainable
Than donor support – Yeah، it’s a very critical window
I don t have to talk to you about The economic challenges that are
Waiting in 2016 and 2017 i’m not speaking of Rwanda
But I am speaking about the African continent Which was enjoined as you know a Renaissance
Because of commodity demand In particular from China which is going through
It’s new phase of slow down right now How to you keep pace with the
reforms that you want beaking foreign direct investment
to a billion dollars When we clearly see that the emerging market
growth That we enjoyed for the last 10 years Is slowing down insignificantly You can see what’s happened
in Nigeria for example Because of falling oil prices in Western Africa – Honestly، if you look at for example the
trade Between African countries Which is close to 12% There’s no reason why we can t grow it
To the levels we see in North America or Europe Which is 40 and 63% respectively And that has a huge potential
To fill these gaps That are created by the low prices of commodities
On which many countries have depended So there is no reason for us in Africa
We are continuing to look at integration What is it that we can do within our
own region And across regions Comissa، Sadak، West African organization
Which Nigeria belongs And i’m sure each country is looking
At alternatives And there should be alternatives
Even from the beginning So I think these pressures are also having
alligning around them I think countries are going to think hard
As to how they can diversify the economies And stop being dependent
On commodities – Do you see yourself almost
As the Singapore of East Africa؟ Or even the Singapore of Africa as a continent؟ What i’m suggesting here is
That small is good I mean it’s easier to manage
As much smaller economy But it creates its challenge Because
you don t have the large consumer market Which everybody wants to invest in unless
they have confidence in the regional zones That you’re talking about here Do you see yourself؟ Is it a fair analogy to be
The Singapore of Africa؟ – Well، what is good is not necessarily small
What is good is good management Of whatever you have
Whether small or big And there are many examples to learn from
We’re happy to learn from Singapore As an example، UAE is another example
And we work with Singapore and UAE And we share best practices and learn
From what they have done to be where they are Which again bases on good management
Of the economy، of politics And the combination of the two So we think we can leverage
Good management and good governance Domestically as well as continued integration And actually the reap from improved
governance Across Africa in different countries Governance is improving and I think this can
Contribute to Rwanda if we properly manage Our economy، our politics and then
Integrate more with the neighbors and beyond I think the opportunity is there
And the potential is huge – You brought up politics، I was thinking
Of the analogy politically who is like the father of the state
Having lead for a long long time He decided there was a period of time
That he leads from behind That the government’s structure was
Strong enough، without him There’s a lot of concern should I put it؟
How do you want me to classify About the referendum which you got
98% in December That allows you to run for a third term is it healthy for Rwanda
to have you stick around – for a third term؟
– I think it is very much healthy for Rwanda in as far
this is the choice of the Rwandanise not just my choice
so anybody trying to dictate to Rwanda what should happen
in Rwanda، I think as long as it is anchored in the wishes
and the will of the people of Rwanda it is very healthy because
ultimately building on the choices of Rwandans and since
the Rwandans are deciding this I don t see any problem
And maybe it’s a matter of time as well،
you talked about Singapore and the molokwane
the choices that are made maybe because it was
time had come، so you have to look at time، but you also look
at what is being done in such time، and what
the challenges are and that is exactly what is
unfolding in our own country but you see increased stability
you see continued progress and I think it is because of
people choices that sometimes – people ignore
– not that the European Union or the United States
has the blue print for a governances around the world
we’re not going to say that the west should be the one
determining Africa’s fate but they express a great concern
of importing it’s important of foster a new generation
of leaders and that referendum in fact could chip away
at that transition of power in Rwanda is that a fair comment by
the European Union and the – United States in your view؟
-Well I there are much more severe comments
out there as you know so – let’s clarify from your advantage point
– I don t depend on those comments I depend on the reality of our situation
Rwandans have their own country own lives، own future to think about
and manage، I think those comments، fair enough to listen
to those comments you learn a thing or two
but at the end of the day you’ve got to decide what you do for
your selves and for your country and later on we be partners
with these countries that may have experiences more true
but، are we suppose too to make criticism about
these countries، I think we better save that effort
to managing our own situation and look at what is
on the ground and believe it because you must be able to believe
what you see what you see in Rwanda
and where we have come from – is continued progress
– yes، well I would say 7 million – to 7 billion dollars is good progress
– absolutely – and ownership
– your future what is happening and our future
by the people having if there is any doubt
that the people of Rwanda own these processes and own the progress
they have left، we can talk about that so let’s clarify، if I come back
to the world government summit in 2023 – would I still be calling you President Kagami؟
– I don t know maybe don t be so cagey، what i’m asking you
are you planning to run in 2017 – let’s look at that when that comes 2017
– ok – you’re leaving the door open to it، I take it؟
– i’m leaving each Rwandan to keep deciding what they want have
and what they want to do it’s interesting because there’s a’d ‘n A
I wanted to talk to you about we have a session this afternoon
which my colleague Becky Anderson is charring about why nations fail
I wanted to turn it upside down If we can، why nations succeed
What’s in the DNA of a nation to succeed، it’s not just geography
of course، it’s not only the people but it’s about institution building
and government – yes
– I would like to hear from you about why a nation fails
and why a nation succeeds because there was really a rough
period of time before 1994 and the transition have been remarkable
in terms of building a nation in fact، that in a way answers
or that، the answer to that question we answer، the question you have
just been asking before that nations would fail if governments
and people have not been working together to actually full fill
the expectation and aspirations of their people
that’s exactly why nations fail and therefore I see that the success
in Rwanda has been solely because of the understanding of
the responsibility of government and the role of the institution
that has to be in place and the people، ultimately
the people will decide but you will also participate
in the making sure that things that going to happen
or should happen will actually happen because of their
so nations will fail if they listen too much to what other
people think about or what they want them to do
well then thinking of what they need to do for themselves
so the moment you concentrate on that، and there’s nothing really
wrong in that in itself you get to make each individual person
a stake holder in the future everybody matters، absolutely
inclusiveness is the way to go even this growth you were talking about
over economy has led to growth in other areas، has led top development
of everybody across the boat because people have participated
they have been involved and they have beneficiaries
of their own efforts so this is how states are going to succeed
if you have a leadership، if you have a vision you have participation of people
and they are empowered to walk toward their own aspirations
I think there’s no doubt about that do you have concerns about
what we see in the Congo or Burkinafasoi in the last year
with some leaders who didn t want to depart
changes of constitution in Angola Algeria، Chad، Uganda
people were very optimistic about Africa all going in the
right direction they’re worried that it’s back sliding and
that it will hold back economic empowerment do you share these concerns
these people have؟ well، I don t know because
each country has got its own merits or lack of them if you will
in different areas so it would be not correct to say
because it has happened like this in one place it’s going to happen
in another again it’s an issue of whether the people
of these countries you are talking about are thinking whatever they
are thinking and whatever they want to do
if they come out and say we are really having a bad day
because of this or that – like what happened on Borkinfaso
– then you will believe them – absolutely
– I wanted to finish on a note of bilateral partnerships and
investment، it’s interesting most here at the summit
would know of the relationship between the U.A.E and Rwanda
but we a have record amount of international participants of the
government summit this year the U.A.E، not a big population
in terms of a country Rwanda، not big population
but they share a similar D.N.A and you’re in pulling in foreign
direct investment in hospitality sector D.P world in the port sector
and you’ve told me you want to cross a billion dollars in the terms of foreign
direct investment why did these sort of strategic
partnerships matter when you see like to like
at the government level؟ I mentioned to you
how we very closely cooperate and relate with U.A.E
and I say add Singapore and few other countries
and U.A.E’s making good investments in our own country
in the areas you have stated Dubai ports are creating an inland
Port in in Ikigari and helping us resolve
logistical issues that we face – as a country
– of course we see investments in hospitality sector
and the other areas of corporation that have been helpful
the area routes now serving the two countries
and the more things we in the pipe line
we intend to do and there are a lot of experiences
to share and learn from as you they’re small countries
but small countries، in a sense that I guess، i’m not going
to claim to be an expert on the details and history of U.A.E.
but if we look at U.A.E which has come from 30 years ago
I think they have built great value from scratch if you will
I don t think 30 years ago people gave them a chance as today suggests
Rwanda the same thing، if you look at where Rwanda
has come from and the kind of value have built over the years
almost from nothing to something that we can discuss and learn from our
own experiences extending to other areas maybe that have similar programs
for people to learn from I think there’s pride in the cooperation
and the investments we can make in each other across
between Rwanda and the U.A.E. and other similar countries
that value their people value their private sector and
you know، people who think that – the sky is even no longer the limit
– very good In the spirit of his Highness
and the prime minister Shiek Mohamad Bin Rached
and the reforms of government that he presented،
give us a sense.. just your three traits
doesn t have to be a long answer because we’re tight on time
three traits of leadership which you think drive your
decision making on a daily basis and then we’ll wrap up the panel
three traits that are very important to you – when it comes to leadership
– it’s thinking about the right thing to do and having the vision
and the organization and the strategy – to implement it walking with the people
– nice warm round of applause to Paul Kagami – thank you very much
– thank you sir

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